No uniform for national service personnel

Mon, 5 Sep 2011 Source: Lamptey, Alfred

National service in this country is done as a pay

back to the country for the support it has been able to render to the tertiary

students across the length and breadth of the country. National service

personnel in this country have been transformed from farmers to teachers and

now to security personnel there is no problem with that. The wearing of

uniforms by national service personnel as suggested or stated by the service

director Vincent Kuagbenu and others is not the most important subject that

should be discussed now since there are more things that national service

personnel and the national service scheme as a whole needs.

National service personnel within this particular

country do not need uniforms as it is being done in other African countries.

Example, in Nigeria. First of all we need to know the reasons why other

countries prefer uniforms for their national service personnel to other

multi-colored dresses, apart from the fact that it serves as a form of identity

there is no other chief reason why a group must wear uniform. If uniforms are

to be recommended then we need to take into consideration , the population or

number of students that graduate from our various public tertiary institutions

and the number of private tertiary institutions that we are having currently in

Ghana . If the population of students is very huge and therefore they can not

be identified, then there is the need for the uniform to operate but if that is

not the case then i consider that to be unnecessary. Taking Nigeria as an

example every state has its own university and therefore you will get to know

that they are having more public universities than this country and so the

graduates for every year are more than that of this country, which is one chief

reason they are uniformed for identification.

Also there is also the need to consider the

sustainability of this new development, if this is to be done above all other

factual benefits then authorities need to make sure that this will not be a

short run program but will last if not forever then for a very long time. This

should not be a party or a government initiative so that other party or

government will come and change but should be a generally accepted issue or

development whereby every party or government will get to know the benefits to

the nation and the scheme as well.

How is national service personnel treated in this

country when rendering their service to the country? This is a chief question

that all Ghanaians need to ask and the authorities also need to ask themselves

before putting forward such an initiative, national service personnel who are

posted to the rural areas are supposed to be treated well by the government and

other institutions involved so that their stay at that particular regions or

areas will be comfortable. This will prevent them from regretting in servicing

the country with their knowledge and strength.

Another way that the government can help the

tertiary graduates is by recommending any potential student to available

organizations; these organizations can be either private or public. Most

students complete their national service successfully but because there no

vacancies in that particular organization they keep searching till they become

weary. There are most graduates in the country who are not employed all because

of the unwillingness of most organizations to employ them. If the government is

able to give them recommendation letters, there will be a considerable decrease

in the number of unemployed tertiary graduates. The government can do this

through interconnection with the organizations where the graduates offered

their national service. It is very regretting to find out that in this country

there is a group that call themselves the Unemployed Graduate Association of

Ghana (UGAG). This is not their faults because if the government can provide

them with national service areas and regions but can not provide them with

adequate employment then what is the need of national service to the graduates.

If the national service personnel do not get jobs after their service does not

mean that there no jobs available but the government do not care about them

anymore after the national service. The government therefore is selfish,

seeking for its own interest without considering that of the tertiary


What the government must know is that not all

tertiary graduates want to start with a white collar jobs, some are even

willing to enter into the educational sector as teachers and so on. What people

must know is that this is a national matter and interest and therefore should

treated as such, this problem of graduates unemployment has been since time

immemorial. These are what are needed and not uniforms for identification

because identification without recommendation is nothing. I am very sorry

service director Vincent Kuagbenu.

Alfred Lamptey


Columnist: Lamptey, Alfred